2019 Artist-in-Residence

Photo of Beth-Ann Wilson Artist-in-Residence 2019
Beth-Ann Wilson Artist-in-Residence 2019

2019 Artist-in-Residence, Beth-Ann Wilson

Beth-Ann Wilson (American, b. Copiague, NY 1983, lives and works in Baltimore, MD) received her BFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (2005). Wilson is a painter, gallery owner, entrepreneur, and community activist. Wilson's art focuses on expressive portraiture and natural landscapes inspired by urban life as well as the places she has traveled to and explored.

Owning Night Owl Gallery and being a part of the Highlandtown Arts District planning committee has allowed her to work on projects that bring the community together and encourage investment in the neighborhood. Beth-Ann currently has work held in public and private collections in the United States and abroad.

The Residency program at Indiana Dunes National Park was a transformative experience for her life and her work. The highlights of her time there were all of the incredible people she met- from the friendly and helpful park staff to local residents to fellow artists in Chesterton and Michigan City. The incredible biodiversity of the landscape was a constant source of inspiration. The geographical situation made for plenty of opportunities to also soak up local culture. Her time there focused on capturing human interaction with the landscape, which tended toward the recreational. This was no surprise as the park begs for exploration, relaxation, and fun. The Indiana Dunes Residency Program is a one-of-a-kind experience that is sure to inspire any artist, outdoor enthusiast, and adventure-seeker.

“Absorb the landscape and the culture. The artistic community here has surprised me." — Beth-Ann Wilson

Photo of Carolyn Damstra Artist-in-Residence 2019
Carolyn Damstra Artist-in-Residence 2019

2019 Artist-in-Residence, Carolyn Damstra

Carolyn Damstra is a native Michiganian and has traveled extensively throughout North America and abroad. She has participated in numerous solo and juried state and regional exhibitions. Recently, several of her paintings have travelled internationally as part of the Art In Embassies Program, U.S. Department of State, to Fiji and Serbia. Carolyn holds a BFA in studio art and an MA in art history, both from Michigan State University.

Frequent subjects of her contemporary landscapes are the scenery and shorelines of Michigan, especially Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The artist residence at Indiana Dunes provided an interesting comparison to this more northern dune ecosystem. Although surrounded by intense industry, the park is a thriving respite of nature. It was especially enjoyable to converse with park visitors and share her art and process with them when painting afield.

Through travels and painting, Carolyn seeks out the healing power of immersion in nature and finds an emotional connection to our environment through visual observation. Her mission is to spread awareness of the power of this connection, through art. Her paintings serve as a bridge, or a catalyst, for connecting with the natural world and finding peace and spiritual health, as well as portraying the stunning beauty of her home state and the Midwestern region.

“… although I have been to most main national parks and travelled and painted alone quite a bit. The lush greenery of the park and plant diversity is impressive." — Carolyn Damstra

Photo of Curt Stanfield Artist-in-Residence 2019
Curt Stanfield Artist-in-Residence 2019

2019 Artist-in-Residence, Curt Stanfield

In 2017 Curt Stanfield retired and while vacationing in Vieques, Puerto Rico in 2018 he painted a small 12x12 canvas to donate for a Humane Society Auction. It was painted in plein air, on a borrowed canvas. He hadn't painted in over 30 years since college. That little 12x12 got a resounding reception among nearly 100 other pieces and lit a fuse that has grown into a burning passion to now paint full time. It has become the driving force in his retired life. Curt continues to do the art auction in Vieques, Puerto Rico each year. All proceeds go to fund the humane society.

Curt is a member of the Brown County Art Guild in Nashville Indiana and the Indiana Artists Club (a club that was founded in 1917 by 46 prominent artists, including such notables as T.C. Steele, William Forsyth, Otto Stark). He has been juried into regional, National, and International shows, taking his first international award in 2020. His paintings are held in public and private collections across the U.S. including Washington D.C. and as far outside the U.S. as Australia.

Even though he has been an Indiana resident all his life, Curt's first encounter with the Indiana Dunes was through the artist residency program. " I was taken back by the enormity of the lake shore. I hadn't expected to see such watercolor and beautiful sand. It reminded me of the Caribbean, where I still paint each year. It made such an impression on me that I was determined to capture one of the sunsets over the lake with just a hint of the Chicago skyline."

“…this is my first visit to the dunes and I have fallen in love with it." — Curt Stanfield

Picture of Ron Henderson's Artist-in-Residence 2019 art

2019 Artist-in-Residence, Ron Henderson

Photo of 2019 Artist-in-Residence Ron Henderson
2019 Artist-in-Residence Ron Henderson

Ron Henderson is a landscape architecture and educator. He is Professor and Director of the Landscape Architecture + Urbanism Program at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and founding principal of LIRIO Landscape Architecture. In addition to being named National Park Service Artist-in-Residence, he is Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Japan-US Friendship Commission Fellow, and a Senior Fellow of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, Ron is a native Hoosier -- but from the karst geography of the southern Indiana hills and knobs. While an architecture student at Notre Dame, he first visited the Indiana Dunes and they have figured in his ecological imagination ever since.

Ron has been drawing in accordion-fold Japanese orihon (folding books) since 1994. The format of these sketchbooks allows extended horizontal drawings that are particularly valuable for landscapes, maps and diagrams of linear travel paths, and experiential sequences. His sketchbooks from Japan are the subject of an annual exhibition, Sakura Orihon, at the United States National Arboretum in Washington D.C. that coincides with the cherry blossom festival. As Artist-in-Residence at Indiana Dunes National Park, Miller Woods and the Great Marsh were favored sites where he drew trees that express characteristics that amplify their situation in unique ecosystems influenced by wind, sedimentation and deposition, water inundation, and soil moisture.

“After billions of years of life on earth, we witness trees – a life force seemingly rooted in place unable to flee. In the Indiana Dunes, they are uprooted by wind, swallowed by sand, suffocated by rising brown water. These are the trees I sought out.“
“As a landscape architect, I wish I had designed Miller Woods.” — Ron Henderson

Last updated: September 25, 2021

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